A new thought controlled robot arm that was designed and tested by University of Chicago is able to move more accurately as it also provides movement sensory feedback, in addition to the previous models which was only based on visual feedback. In the experiments, monkeys were tested using brain-machine interface, where they controlled a cursor without moving their real arm, using the robotic arm. In relation to the previous systems, using sensory feedback allowed monkeys to control the cursor 40% more accurately. This could make a significant difference for a disabled person using the device.
Apart from the visible results, when the researchers observed the brain activity of monkeys using also the movement or “proprioception” feedback in medical terms, they found that the brain area responsible from executing the moves contained much more information in comparison to using only visual feedback. The findings have been published on December 15th edition of the Journal of Neuroscience. For original story, and to see videos of the robot, please visit here.